Entries from April 2009 ↓
April 24th, 2009 — World Domination - Leanne & Jon Plus Spawn
Today, I had a “non-stress test,” a.k.a. being hooked up to a fetal monitor for 2 1/2 hours in a hospital bed. It is more fun than being shot in the chest and left for dead, but you know, most things are.
I figure that it’s better to be safe, and all those doctors must have some reason for prescribing this, so we’re going to do this once a week until the baby is born.
On the plus side, there may be internet access in the birth center area of the hospital. (Jon was able to get online today during the test.) This means LIVE TWEETS OF THE BIRTH, which is vastly entertaining and should contain choice bits of interesting pregnancy information. That is, if I can type at that point.
If anything, after the phone calls to our parents, this will be the first place where the birth will be announced, so if you want to be one of the first to know, check out our twitter feeds. You can view my updates on my twitter feed, or get Jon’s perspective on his feed.
April 22nd, 2009 — World Domination - Leanne & Jon Plus Spawn
Pregnancy Weekly’s post Nesting Instinct describes the phenomenon of nesting, common to pregnant women. Italicized text is excerpted from the post.
Here is how I measure up:
Around the fifth month of pregnancy, the “nesting” instinct can set in. This is an uncontrollable urge to clean one’s house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world.
Well, this week, I’ve been trying to get everything tied up at work, and have sent several totally OCD write ups to my co-workers outlining my open projects and responsibilities.
At home, I’ve set up the bassinet, done baby laundry, organized all his clothes by size, wrote up a birth plan, and made enough risotto to sink a barge (I AM a barge right now).
Females of the animal kingdom are all equipped with this same need. It is a primal instinct…You may become a homebody and want to retreat into the comfort of home and familiar company, like a brooding hen.
I haven’t really wanted to be sitting around at home, although I am very excited that I now have an excuse to flaunt my primal instincts. Another one of my pregnancy books said new mothers sometimes growl at people. I am also looking forward this.
Nesting brings about some unique and seemingly irrational behaviors in pregnant women and all of them experience it differently.
Irrational? That’s just absurd. Okay, so maybe I cussed out a cashier in a liquor store today, but that’s besides the point. She had it coming.
This unusual burst of energy is responsible for women ironing anything in the house that couldn’t out run them. Being preoccupied with ant killing, squishing them one at a time for weeks on end. Packing and unpacking the labor bag 50 times. Cleaning the kitchen cupboards and organizing everything by size to the point that you make sure the silverware patterns match when it’s stacked in the cutlery drawer. Sorting the baby’s clothes over and over again is a favorite theme.
This might be a problem. I am already really, really OCD. If I get any more OCD, like my friend Kate says, I’m going to have to start spelling it CDO so it’s alphabetical.
April 19th, 2009 — Dominating the World Technologically Speaking
Every time I move my files from one computer to another, I ask Jon to transfer everything, and then I reload my files into iTunes manually. As a result, my current computer has about 30 GB of duplicate mp3 files.
Recently, I’ve been working with larger image files, which has made me aware of how much space I have left on my MacBook Pro. Understandably, I’d rather not have 30 GB of duplicate files.
I started weeding through these manually, and then realized there’s a script for everything and I was wasting hours of my life. After a quick Google search, I found Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes.
I checked with Jon to make sure I wasn’t going to fry my computer with this download (always a good step in your download process) and downloaded the file. There are directions on the site re: the correct way to download & open the file, just in case you do not also have an IT guy held hostage by marriage.
Getting All Your Mp3 Files Into Your iTunes Library
You can skip this section if you don’t have mp3 files outside of your iTunes Library.
If you have mp3 files outside of the iTunes Library (Music > iTunes > iTunes Music), you may want to move all the mp3s on your computer to iTunes first. To do this, open iTunes, go to File > Add to Library and select your main home folder, or whichever folder where you store your non-iTunes mp3s.
Read this whole paragraph before taking any action: After copying these files, you can delete all mp3 files outside of your iTunes Library. When I did this, I searched for “mp3″ and deleted any folder outside of the Library. Before you do this, you may want to back up your files first. (I used Time Machine.) You may also want to check a few files manually to make sure they are still working before you click Empty Trash.
Organizing Your Files
For organizational purposes, you may want to run File > Library > Consolidate Library. This will organize all your iTunes within your Library.
Using Dupin to Remove Your Duplicate Mp3 Files
Now that you’re all organized, open Dupin, select your Criteria on the sidebar on the left and click Get Dupes on the top left. This will give you a list of 40 files, or 20 Dupe Groups. Initially, all of the files will be checked, meaning that Dupin will save these files. The criteria I use is: Name, Artist, Album, Time, Size and Track Number, but you may need to adjust it depending on your files.
Filter your playlist using the Filter Controls. I recommend Single Arbitrary, but just think about what makes the most sense for you. For example, since I had a lot of copied files, most of my file names looked like this: “Float On.mp3″ and “Float On 1.mp3″ so I filtered by Shorter Filename and removed all the files with the “1.mp3″ added on.
Check Your Work
Once half your files are checked and half are unchecked, take a quick look at the files to make sure the unchecked ones are the ones you want to delete. After a couple runs, you’ll be confident in your Criteria and Filter method, and will be able to skip this step.
When you’re ready to delete the duplicates, go to Tools > Purge. Click Remove when prompted. You will be asked if you want to keep the files or move them to trash. Since I wanted more space, I selected Move to Trash. If space isn’t an issue for you, you might choose to keep the files.
And you’re done! If you’re paranoid like me, you’ll test files periodically to make sure that they’re still working correctly in iTunes.
If you have files that vary widely in terms of quality, you may need to be more stringent with your Criteria and Filter methods. You may even want to go through these files manually, to avoid deleting the better quality files.
This is a good application. It works exactly as advertised, is pretty simple to use, and it’s free (the demo version). This is a feature Apple might want to consider incorporating in iTunes to make it available to more users.
April 18th, 2009 — World Domination in Everyday Life
You know you’re loved when you’re in the shower for about 5 minutes and you start hearing loud, insistent meows outside your bathroom door. If cats spoke English, you would hear “HEY! What are you doing in there? Why aren’t I in there, too?” and “We has shower time now? Why iz door closed?”
When someone wants to hang out with you to the extent that they can’t deal with the 15 minutes of separation it takes for you to get ready in the morning, it really makes you feel appreciated.
Also, it helps you to conserve water, because it’s very distracting to hear MEOW! MEOW! MEOW MEOW MEOW! while you’re trying to relax, so you usually just get out.
As I type this, Sam is siting next to Jon on the couch, all blissed out on a blanket, and Horace is on the couch back behind me, as close as you can get without actually sitting on my shoulder. Purrrr. Purrrrr.
If we ever run out of cash and can’t pay our heating bills, we could probably just get 4 or 5 more cats like Sam and Horace. Since they like to be within 2 feet of us at all times, this would probably be a very efficient heating system – we could call it “living furs” and start our own company.
Of course, we would also have to account for the flailing claws whenever something startled your “coat.” Caution: sudden movements towards tuna may result in serious injury.
April 12th, 2009 — World Domination - Leanne & Jon Plus Spawn
You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. For those of you who have asked what is going on (and thanks for asking, I appreciate it), I’ll tell you.
I once read a book where the main character explained to her friend that, hard as it is to believe, the story about the baby being brought by the stork is not actually true.
Likewise, I’m really sorry to disillusion you, but in order to produce a baby you have to gestate that sucker for 9 months, and even if you have supportive friends, family and co-workers, it’s still a tiring process.
These days I work, eat, sleep and look forward to the time when I’ll be able to put four whole things on my to do list and have the energy to accomplish all of them. (The current limit before exhaustion and pregnancy-induced narcolepsy is three.)
But don’t get me wrong. Although kind people (thanks, Tim) have reminded me that sleep is even more unlikely after the baby is born, I figure I’ll be up at 3am feeding him anyway, so I’ll have the chance to write some entertaining (if somewhat incoherent) posts then.
All in all, I’ll take the third trimester over the first and second any day. Being tired can be tough, but I no longer have a constant, very personal relationship with every toilet (or bucket) in the vicinity. When people ask, “How are you feeling?” I can honestly say I’m feeling pretty good.
At 8 months, Jon and I are pretty excited. I think that I’m more excited, because while we’re both equally looking forward to the baby, I am also looking forward to additional great things, like pants that zip and lying on my stomach.
Yes, shortly after the labor, I am going to spend a good 20 minutes just rolling over continuously on our living room rug. It will be fantastic. Possibly, I will have Jon video tape this (the rolling, not the labor), and post it online, just so you all can share in the wonder.
Image credit: edited stork.
April 10th, 2009 — World Domination in Everyday Life
When I was in high school, I took a psych class that covered the different theories of why humans dream. One of the ideas was that we dream to solve problems from our waking hours. Our subconscious keeps hacking away at the problem while we sleep, so our brains don’t explode when we wake up and are faced with the same issues.
The theory seemed a little pat to me at the time, but it’s true that if I’m concentrating on something intensely during the day, sometimes I’ll dream about it. And sometimes after this type of dream, I’ll wake up feeling more able to cope with the situation.
Last night, during a completely routine dream about purging a church of hordes of bloodsucking undead (there was holy water in Poland Springs bottles stashed all around the church), my dream shifted and suddenly I was faced with a more pressing problem: how to organize my tasks and projects for work.
I guess I’ve been more stressed than I thought about getting my work in good shape before maternity leave. You’d think 5 weeks would leave plenty of time, but I keep getting wrapped up in day to day work, and postponing getting organized for leave. Lately, I’ve started working from home at night to have some uninterrupted time to get things together.
I’ve been working with Things and Evernote lately, and I recently tried out Daylite. I won’t go into detail here, because I plan on reviewing each application separately in later posts, but basically they are task and project manager applications with varying interfaces and features. A combination of these applications made an appearance in my dream, while I frantically tried to categorize tasks in time for other people to use the information.
It’s bad when your dream of fighting vampires is interrupted with work responsibilities. It’s even worse when you don’t technically consider it to be a nightmare until that point.
April 4th, 2009 — World Domination in Everyday Life
If you don’t have a key, it’s actually very hard to get into our building. It’s not that the security is tight, it’s just totally confusing.
When someone rings our doorbell, we have it set up so that the system calls a Grand Central (now Google Voice) number, which rings through to my cell phone.
When I get a call from “door?” (I labeled it back when I was only 85% sure that the number spamming my cell phone was the door) I pick up, and am asked if I want to accept the call. I press the button for yes, and am connected to whatever anonymous jerk is ringing my doorbell.
To explain the animosity: it’s never for us – we live in apartment 12, and our door system isn’t very intuitive, so people dial 1-2 all the time and just hope for the best. Not the best deductive reasoning there, but hey, it takes all sorts of people to run a world.
Consequently, I am usually irate, and after saying, “hello? hello?” and waiting about 4 additional seconds, I generally hang up. Lately, the calls have been more frequent, so I just hang up.
Even if I wanted to let this person in (which I don’t, because I don’t know them, and what if they are an axe-murderer?), I would hold down 9 until the door released. This works about half of the time. If I am actually expecting someone, I just go down and let them in.
So, while I appreciate most high tech things, and certainly support electronic systems that make it easier for me to control things from my couch, our doorbell system needs work. Manual systems are a pain, but automated systems that are broken are even worse because they are a tease.
Boo, apartment complex. Although, while you fail at doors, you are kind of accidentally spectacular at security – you can’t automatically let someone in even if you want to. So, good job, I guess.
Image credit: Invisible doorbell and security.